If the first three episodes of So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation hadn't proved this already, it's going to be particularly sad to see dancers be eliminated on the show this season. The All-Stars on So You Think You Can Dance discovered this the hard way during their first week at the Academy on June 20. The 10 All-Stars, who will each select one of the dancers between the ages of 8 and 13 to partner with during the live shows, were responsible for cutting 100 dancers down to 40 in the first episode at the Academy. And as you can imagine, eliminating kids from the dance competition show was no easy task.
The All-Stars for The Next Generation are contemporary dancers Kathryn, Robert, and Sasha; ballroom dancers Jonathan, Jenna, and Paul; tap dancer Gaby; and hip-hop dancers Comfort, Fik-Shun, and Joshua. These 10 dancers already found success on So You Think You Can Dance and now they will be mentoring their young partners and dancing with them throughout the live shows. But before that can happen, they needed to sort through the 100 dancers that judges Paula Abdul, Jason Derulo, and Nigel Lythgoe had selected during the initial audition phase.
As with every season of So You Think You Can Dance, the later you get eliminated, the harder it is to leave the show. Fik-Shun had to make a tough call when he had to cut one of the five dancers he had selected for his team. Young hip-hop dancer Jaryan struggled when performing a Broadway piece he had learned earlier in the day and when Fik-Shun told him he'd be leaving the show, he understandably had an emotional response.
Jaryan cried as he told the All-Stars that he has been bullied at school and Fik-Shun consoled him by bringing up that dance is a getaway that is about love, support, and having fun. The All-Star offered supportive words and hugged Jaryan as he escorted him off the stage. And Jaryan wasn't the only person who was emotional since many of the other All-Stars were tearing up at Jaryan's words.
But perhaps the best moment that came out of this was that the other dancers competing were shown supporting Jaryan with one girl saying to him, "You're self-taught and you can say that you're one of America's 50th best dancers in the world." While it may be difficult to see other kids be eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance, I think I can officially say The Next Generation is going to be one of the most compassionate competition shows to ever exist.
Image: Adam Rose/FOX